Tuesday, August 14, 2018

learn something new

If you are still looking for something to help your kids do something that would benefit their minds this summer, it could be time to learn something new.  The library is full of books that can help children learn something like origami, yo-yo tricks, balloon art, cooking, magic or juggling.  Your child may have something else that they have always wanted to learn, days free of school and homework are a great time to do this.  If a child has a penchant for performing, having a magic or juggling show could be a way to share what he or she has learned with friends or family.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Pie is for Sharing

Pie is for Sharing by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard and illustrated by Jason Chin is a book to share with preschoolers and kindergarteners. Ledyard starts the story by saying pie is for sharing, but the book talks about what other things are meant to share as well.  This could be used as a start for discussion about things that are good for sharing as well as things that are not. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

play board games

Playing games with your children is a good way to build language skills and interpersonal skills, while using thinking skills.  Here are a few I would recommend.

Checkers
This is a two player game, but children as young as five can learn to play.  There is a need to pay attention to the other person's moves and keep your checkers safe while capturing your opponents checkers.

Guess Who?
Also a two player game, this is a game of asking and answering yes/no questions.  It is recommended for ages six and up.  After repeated playing, there are some strategies that can be applied to increase your chances of winning.

Chess
This two player game is one that requires strategy, my nephews prefer it over checkers.  It is more difficult to learn than checkers cause each type of piece can move in a different manner.

Scrabble
A word game for two to four players. Players must make words with the letter tiles that they have to add on to the crossword puzzle on the board.  It says for ages 8 and up, those who struggle with spelling may find it too much of a challenge.  When my family plays, it takes about an hour from start to finish. 

Apples to Apples Jr.
This is my favorite of the games, but you need at least four players (it can be up to ten), and all players need some reading ability.  It is a good game for using and developing language. 

There are many other games that can promote learning.  Chutes and Ladders is good for counting.  Sorry is good for counting and strategy.  Monopoly and Life are games where you are continually counting money and making change.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

games in the car

Another way to engage children in learning over the summer is playing games while going places in the car.  There are a variety of games to play, depending on your children's ages or interests.  Here are few that I have played with a variety of children.  (These can be played while walking, too.)
The easiest game to play is the Alphabet game.  The goal is to find the entire alphabet on signs and vehicles outside the one you are in.  Start with looking for the letter A.  After that is found, then look for B, followed by C, until you get to Z.  It can be done individually or as a group.  
The license plate game is for longer trips.  Make a list of all the states in the United States.  Then everyone looks for cars with plates from other states.  Every time a new state is noticed, it is marked off on the list.
Another way you can play with words is by choosing a topic or category.  In two or three minutes, try to think of all the thing that would fit in the category.  A few categories to get you started thinking are vegetables, things that swim, transportation, things that are triangles.
There is also the geography game.  The first player names a place anywhere in the world.  Then you take the last letter of that word and the next person names a place that begins with that letter.  Players take turns naming places but cannot repeat places.  For example, the first player says Madagascar.  Then the next player says Rhode Island, the next says Delaware.

Friday, July 27, 2018

The Year Comes Round

The Year Comes Round by Sid Farrar and illustrated by Ilse Plume is a book to add to your poetry collection.  Farrar has written 13 haiku for the year.  Each of the first twelve poems represent a month in the year.  He does well with word choice in each poem. I liked all the poems, but my favorite is the one about cornfields.  Read this book to enjoy a journey through the seasons in a temperate climate.  Even if you don't have children to read to, it is worth checking out from your local library.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

writing letters

This summer you and your children could spend some time writing letters.  Writing letters to relatives who live in another town or state will probably gain a reply.  You could also pick favorite authors and write to them.  Sending a letter to some authors will mean a return letter.  On occasion, my students have received a signed copy of an author's book.  Many author's have websites with contact information.  If you cannot find an address you could also send the letter to the publisher, who normally forwards it to the author.